Update: Peter Curd was sentenced to 18 months prison sentence which was suspended for 2 years
A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed for 5yrs and he was placed on sex offenders register for 10 yrs
Curd was ordered to complete 120hrs unpaid work, and told to pay a £120 victim surcharge
Pervert caught by paedophile hunting team
A pervert snared by paedophile hunters has been found guilty of trying to send sex messages to underage girls.
Married dad-of-two Peter Curd sent pornographic pictures to social media users he believed to be 13 and 14 years old.
He was in fact in contact with adult women who were part of a group called Predator Hunters looking to flush out online paedophiles.
Curd, aged 29, even arranged to meet one of the decoys but failed to turn up at the meeting point – as members of the group lay in wait to grab him.
He went on trial for three days at Plymouth Crown Court after claiming that someone had hacked his phone and tried to frame him.
But a jury saw through his far-fetched story and convicted him of two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child between June 4 and June 25 last year.
Curd, of Colwill Road, Estover, reacted with a slight shrug as the jury foreman announced the unanimous verdicts after two and a half hours of deliberations.
Judge James Townsend released him on bail to be sentenced with the aid of a probation report on January 3.
Curd must sign the Sex Offender Register and will face controls on his internet use and contact with children.
Two women from Predator Hunters posed as 13-year-olds on dating site Waplog and messaging app Kik.
Curd used a series of different phones to send them sexually explicit pictures including a man performing an indecent act.
He also sent the decoys a picture of his face.
The Crown Prosecution Service stressed that both decoys pointed out within the first few messages that they were aged 14 and 13.
But Curd arranged a meeting with the woman posing as the younger girl at a retail park near Hereford.
He failed to show up for whatever reason as Predator Hunters waited to detain him and call the police.
The group handed the details to officers – who were able to trace him to Plymouth through phone records.
Curd memorably claimed from the witness stand that he did not even know where Hereford is.
He also said that someone must have recovered a broken phone which he had dropped down the toilet.
Curd claimed that the stranger used his personal details and photograph to send the sex messages.
He said that he himself had replaced his phone with a handset without an internet connection long before the offences were committed.